The Pediatric Obesity Program partners with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center to provide an interdisciplinary Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, which helps children and adolescents with obesity. After a comprehensive evaluation on a child’s first visit, a personalized health plan aimed at reducing metabolic complications and improving body composition and fitness is developed. Children in our program follow-up regularly in clinic to monitor progress and receive individualized attention in the following areas:
Clinicians evaluate patients for medical causes of obesity, including genetic, brain and hormone abnormalities. They screen patients for medical complications of obesity, such as high blood pressure, elevated cholesterol, fatty liver disease, sleep disorders and diabetes. In addition, patients with these complications receive tailored treatment from medical specialists.
A registered dietitian assesses the child’s current diet and helps create nutrition-related plans to meet health goals. The dietitian helps the family develop skills to make better nutrition choices for a healthier diet. Snack preparation and cooking classes are offered in our demonstration kitchen.
Fitness specialists assess the child’s strength, balance, coordination, flexibility, and endurance. Personalized exercise plans are provided based on activities the child enjoys, equipment the family has at home and their neighborhood. Participants meet with the fitness specialists monthly to adjust the program and to address any obstacles the participants encounter. Weekly group exercise classes are also offered.
Behavioral health coaches evaluate patients for psychological concerns that might be affecting their weight, including mental health, eating patterns, body image and environmental factors. They help the child and their family stay motivated, problem solve and set goals in positive ways.
For adolescents and young adults with severe obesity and obesity-related health complications, bariatric surgery is an additional treatment option. The interdisciplinary team performs comprehensive medical, behavioral and psychological evaluations of interested patients to determine if surgery would be a safe and beneficial option to consider. We prepare patients for necessary lifestyle changes prior to surgery and provide long-term follow-up of patients after surgery.
For more information about Le Bonheur's Healthy Lifestyle Clinic, contact HLC@lebonheur.org or 901.287.7337/1.866.870.5570.